We do love long days chilling out on the beach but sometimes it’s nice to try something different and explore new areas. And when the weather’s not hot enough for a beach day, it’s a great opportunity to go for a walk along our stunning South West Coast Path. We decided to try a Family Walk from Teignmouth to Dawlish. This gives some gorgeous sea views and lets the girls see just how close the trains are to the sea.
We started our journey with a walk through the park to St Thomas Train Station, picking up a few bits for the story stick on the way. I love the train route down both sides of the Exe Estuary. And with the traffic chaos that is happening in Exeter at the moment, the train seems the less stressful option. Plus it allows you to start/end your walk in different places so we were able to explore further, without the need to retrace our steps to pick up a car.
Prices on the trains are actually quite reasonable. With the Devon and Cornwall Railcard, it was slightly over £14 return for 3 adults and 3 children, which is not far off what it would cost to park 2 cars in Teignmouth anyway.
Once again, Teignmouth Arts Trail has lots of Recycled Art In the Landscape, including these fellows waiting for you as you leave the train station.
I never know which street to take so we picked one at random, then worked our way to the seafront, this time keeping as left as possible to pick up the South Devon Railway Sea Wall. The views here are stunning but do be aware that you might get splashed if the tide is high!
Family Walk from Teignmouth to Dawlish
Follow the sea wall until a small park and take the obligatory sitting on the Teignmouth sign photos then rejoin the seawall and keep going. It’s quite something when the trains come passed so it great for the trainspotters amongst you.
We dropped down on to the beach for a little play and then followed the signs to the Salty Dog – my new favourite ice cream shack. You need to come back up onto the seawall then drop down again to go under the tunnel to the bottom of Smugglers’ Lane. The staff are so friendly, they serve excellent coffee and ice cream, have customer loos and are in a perfect little sun trap.
The ice creams are a bit of a bribe to get the small one up the hill – it’s quite steep! Follow the lane up to meet the main road at Holcombe and pick up the Coast Path signs. You’re not on the busy road for long before you drop back down following the side of the field.
The views are stunning but it is a bit of hike up and down and definitely not buggy friendly. After a little bit more on the road, you come out at Lea Mount, where we stopped on the benches for lunch and watch the sea swimmers and boats go by.
Follow the zig zag path down the hill (passed the names carved into the red rocks) and over the railway line and drop into Boat Cove. There are public loos and a public water fountain if you need a pit stop. There’s also a little cafe on the front and some urban art too.
Then it’s just a few minutes walk into Dawlish proper where you can see the black swans, make use of the tourist facilities or just build stone sculptures.
Then it’s back on the train and home for tea. We had actually intended to walk to Dawlish Warren so we could walk through the nature reserve. As ever though, we did a lot of dawdling and playing on the beach so ran out of time.
Some useful info
You can find out more about the South West Coast Path on their site. Note we, carried onto Dawlish proper but this walk takes you back to Teignmouth.
The walk from Teignmouth to the Salty Dog would be just about buggy friendly. The top of the sea wall would give a very bumpy ride and you do need to go up/down some steep steps. From Smugglers’ Lane on wards, there are some steep slopes and narrow paths so it’s not suitable for prams and little legs might need a helping hand.
There are loos at Salty Dog (customers only) and at Boat Cove.
The whole walk is about 4 miles and we took nearly 4 hours to complete it, with lots of stops for picnics and playing.
If you fancy some other ideas for family days out near Exeter, take a look at: